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A Life of Service

Mrs Sarojini Abishegam is 80 years old this year. She was the Bishop’s Secretary for four bishops, namely Bishop Roland Koh for three years; Bishop John Savarimuthu for twenty two years; Bishop Lim Cheng Ean for twelve years; and Bishop Ng Moon Hing for seven months.

 
Mrs. Abi

It was in 1970 that Bishop Roland Koh first invited me to be his Secretary when the diocese was formed. At that time, Bishop Roland Koh was staying in Gurney Road, the site of the present St Mary’s Place. Later he moved to No. 9, Jalan Tengah, KL, next to the former St Mary’s school. He stayed upstairs and downstairs was the diocesan office. A little later, he moved again to Rumah Bishop at 14, Persiaran Stoner, KL but the diocesan office remained in Jalan Tengah”, she said. This bungalow was sold in 2008, and the new Rumah Bishop was constructed at 11, Jalan Tebu, Ukay Heights, Ampang, KL.


From left:  Bishop Moon Hing, Mrs. Abi, Bisfe Siew Lan and Leela

She was asked to describe her role as a Bishop’s Secretary. She exclaimed, “I loved my job very much. My time over the 40 years was pleasant. I was very strict and disciplined by not getting involved in diocesan affairs, and I didn’t allow anyone to simply enter my room. All the Bishops and their families were nice to me. They all trusted me because I could keep confidentiality well.”

When she was asked about the greatest challenge as Bishop’s Secretary, she remarked, “It was when my husband was called home by the Lord in 1991, I felt that I had lost a part of me. It was the most difficult period in my life. Bishop Savarimuthu prayed for me and encouraged me a lot. My husband, Rajappah Abishegam was a great supporter of me in my work, and he used to go with me to functions and I to his functions. At that time we were staying in Cheras and my husband didn’t mind when I had to stay back for extra work. When we shifted to PJ, Bishop Savarimuthu used to send his driver to fetch or send me. Sometimes when his driver was not free, he sent Johnny Savarimuthu to fetch me. It was asthma that caused my husband to leave us early.”

She related about her family who looks after her– “I have one daughter and she is Mary Shyamala. She is married to John Bepono. She is a school teacher. They have two sons, namely Elijah and Jason. My sister Leela Abraham is also living with us. Sometimes my sister and I stay in a Home when my daughter is busy.”

Finally, she shared a little about her early life – “I grew up in Singapore and my family was from Christ Church. My sister and I went to St Hilda’s School. I was married in St Andrew’s Cathedral Singapore in 1957. It was work that brought us to Malaysia. Prior to working in the diocesan office, I was working part-time with the Immigration Department. I was approached by Bishop Roland Koh then. When I came into the Diocesan office, there were two other workers. They left not long after I arrived and I was the only one left in the office. The office was like my second home. I can still remember Bishop Roland Koh’s wife and mother. His mother was a nice lady and she could only speak in Chinese. We had to communicate with hand and head signs. Of course, I do remember the families of the other bishops too. They all have treated me very well.”

Bisfe Siew Lan




















From left:  Bishop Moon Hing, Mrs. Abi, Bisfe Siew Lan and Leela
She was asked to describe her role as a Bishop’s Secretary. She exclaimed, “I loved my job very much. My time over the 40 years was pleasant. I was very strict and disciplined by not getting involved in diocesan affairs, and I didn’t allow anyone to simply enter my room. All the Bishops and their families were nice to me. They all trusted me because I could keep confidentiality well.”

When she was asked about the greatest challenge as Bishop’s Secretary, she remarked, “It was when my husband was called home by the Lord in 1991, I felt that I had lost a part of me. It was the most difficult period in my life. Bishop Savarimuthu prayed for me and encouraged me a lot. My husband, Rajappah Abishegam was a great supporter of me in my work, and he used to go with me to functions and I to his functions. At that time we were staying in Cheras and my husband didn’t mind when I had to stay back for extra work. When we shifted to PJ, Bishop Savarimuthu used to send his driver to fetch or send me. Sometimes when his driver was not free, he sent Johnny Savarimuthu to fetch me. It was asthma that caused my husband to leave us early.”

She related about her family who looks after her– “I have one daughter and she is Mary Shyamala. She is married to John Bepono. She is a school teacher. They have two sons, namely Elijah and Jason. My sister Leela Abraham is also living with us. Sometimes my sister and I stay in a Home when my daughter is busy.”

Finally, she shared a little about her early life – “I grew up in Singapore and my family was from Christ Church. My sister and I went to St Hilda’s School. I was married in St Andrew’s Cathedral Singapore in 1957. It was work that brought us to Malaysia. Prior to working in the diocesan office, I was working part-time with the Immigration Department. I was approached by Bishop Roland Koh then. When I came into the Diocesan office, there were two other workers. They left not long after I arrived and I was the only one left in the office. The office was like my second home. I can still remember Bishop Roland Koh’s wife and mother. His mother was a nice lady and she could only speak in Chinese. We had to communicate with hand and head signs. Of course, I do remember the families of the other bishops too. They all have treated me very well.”

Bisfe Siew Lan

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